Mellia — Away With Venlar Xi
1627, Sea Season, Death Week
Sea Season, Death Week, Freezeday. [[[s02:session-32|Session 32]]]
Meanwhile, back at the village, Mellia is directed to where Dogva is out seeing to ploughing.
Mellia goes over there. She would wait for a lull before asking Dogva if they can talk.
He comes to see her after the end of a furrow and a return, when it is clear the plough team is doing well. “White Lady,” he says, and bows to her rather deeper than required.
Mellia bows to him. “Clan Chief, we have a problem. One of the Alynxfish is asking for more trouble than we can handle.”
“Oh dear,” he says with a faint groan. “And today started with good omens.” He waves a cheerful goodbye to the plough team. “They can handle tickling Ernal… that is, this field. It’s good for beginners. Shall we walk?”
Mellia nods and walks with Dogva. “I forget his name. Something beginning with D, something of a bully. His latest attempt to anger Yamia has led him to insult Lord Eril Sambari Humakti.”
Dogva obviously knows the name. His expression is pained, and it takes him a moment to reply. “What happened?”
“The fool claims that Yamia’s father is not her father. I don’t know the specific slander.”
“And Lord Eril?” Clearly Dogva has not heard everything.
Mellia replies, “I am not sure how Lord Eril is involved. I do know that man was a good High Sword and is capable of killing everyone in both villages.”
Mellia adds, “You should see the look on Yamia’s face. It would give her god pause.”
“I will go ask,” Dogva says. “This does sound rather serious. I shall see what she has to say. Would you like to come and walk with me?”
“Yes, I would. Thank you.”
Yamia and Venlar are where she left them. Yamia looks grimly calm now, and turns to Dogva to bow, formal and shallow and precise.
“Lady Yamia,” he says. “Healer Mellia tells me there is a problem.”
“It may solve itself shortly,” she says with a smile. Dogva just blinks, faced with Yamia for the first time. He may need help, or may just be deciding what to say.
“Yamia, how will this be?”
“It really depends on whether Deleros and his friends boast of my backing down.” She gives Dogva a pleasant smile. “He asked if my brother was truly my brother, which I am telling you because both of us survived that conversation.”
Mellia says, “Now might be a good time to explain why you are not fighting duels.”
“I am under the hospitality of another,” she says simply. “Even inviting Delesos to visit would be a breach, although I have mentioned where I live. But you see, Lord Dogva, perhaps he does not know who the only other person who is sometimes said to be our father is. My brother – one of triplets with me – strongly resembles Lord Eril of Boldhome.”
“Our uncle was the only survivor of the Household of Death,” Venlar says. “He was sent out to hide some of its relics, and was in the area – with the relics – a year before my… our… birth. It’s an awkwardly touchy subject.”
“I see.” Dogva looks like he does not, nor does he want to.
“The relics had an effect on the triplets. Thenaya’s spoken and that’s the end of it—or it would be in Esrolia.”
“My father has the decision,” Yamia says, while Venlar steps a few paces away. “But there is an implication that Lord Eril is a deceiver and that is a self-solving problem, if he hears of it. Either he will not mind or there will not be a problem. He probably will not mind.” Her reassuring look does not seem to be reassuring Dogva.
Mellia points out, “Lord Eril is a proud man. Doesn’t Humakt ask His followers to be truthful? I fear this will end in blood.”
“He needs do nothing but mention his displeasure. If he hears about it.” Yamia in reassurance is Yamia on the attack.
“I’ll have a word with Deleros,” Dogva says smoothly. “If he wants, he can repeat it, and I’ll stand aside and call it an insult. Otherwise, you’ll hear no more of that.”
Yamia looks a little interested at the thought of a fight, but stays polite. “Thank you, Lord. It is more than I would ask for.”
Dogva hurries off, and Venlar shakes his head at Yamia. “You… are a piece of work.”
Mellia sighs. “I hope no one,” and she gives Yamia a stern look, “is planning to tell Lord Eril about this.”
Yamia says, “I certainly was not – he need not concern himself with such matters.”
Mellia looks relieved. “Then all’s well that ends well.”
“Indeed.” Yamia inclines her head just like her uncle does, as she agrees.
Mellia thinks about something else to do.
There is plenty to do in the village. A little later that day, Deleros leaves, causing a mild scandal among the women, who suddenly start including Yamia in their circle.